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DENVER/July 21, 2021 – Morris Animal Foundation is now accepting proposals for pilot studies focused on equine behavior, relating to health and welfare. Proposals should generate data to prove the viability of a novel approach or idea and may involve domesticated or wild horses.

Dr. Wendy Koch, a veterinarian who has supported the Foundation for 30 years, is providing funding for awarded grants. She began a career in animal welfare with the federal government in 1990 and became board-certified in that field in 2016. Dr. Koch has closely followed equine behavior and welfare research and wanted to address an unmet need for funding in these areas.

All investigators are eligible to apply, but studies must be limited to one year in duration and budgets cannot exceed $10,000. Competitive applicants will have a previous record of research and publication in equine behavioral science.

Applications will be reviewed and rated, based on impact and scientific rigor, by a scientific advisory board, made up of equine behavior and/or welfare experts. Interested researchers can learn more and apply for the award here. Grant applications are due by Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 4:59 p.m. ET.

This is the second time Koch has funded a study on equine behavior. The first study, which was awarded to Utrecht University’s Dr. Janny de Grauw, was awarded earlier this year. The study is testing a simple questionnaire to see if it can reliably help horse owners recognize and monitor signs of chronic osteoarthritis pain in their horses, leading to earlier intervention.

This request for proposals is part of the Foundation’s Donor-Inspired Study program, which allows individual donors to directly support a research topic they have a passion for, and for which there is a pressing need.

Morris Animal Foundation is one of the largest nonprofit organizations worldwide that funds health studies benefiting cats, dogs, horses, llamas, alpacas and wildlife. The Foundation currently is funding 165 studies encompassing a broad spectrum of species and diseases.

Scientific Advisory Board

  • Sue McDonnell, MS, PhD, CAAB, University of Pennsylvania School of Vet Med
  • Wendy Watson, MSc, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh
  • Sid Gustafson, DVM, Bozeman, MT
  • Emanuela Dalla Costa, DVM, PhD, Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Universita degli Studi di Milano
  • Cheryl Kolus, DVM, Synterex, Inc.
  • Anneliese Heinrich, DVM, MSc, Rockyview Veterinary Behaviour Consulting
  • Leanne Proops, PhD, University of Portsmouth
  • Emily Stearns, MSc, American Horse Council

About Morris Animal Foundation

Morris Animal Foundation’s mission is to bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals. Headquartered in Denver, and founded in 1948, it is one of the largest nonprofit animal health research organizations in the world, funding more than $136 million in critical studies across a broad range of species. Learn more at